Senator Jeff Flake described a chaotic scene along the tracks, where he said he helped carry a badly-injured man away from the truck and watched emergency responders try but fail to revive the person who died.
"Oh, Jesus, sorry about that, we hit a bump here", he told AM 1100 The Flag, a station in Fargo, North Dakota. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said there were no serious injuries among members of Congress or their staff. The train was traveling full speed at the time, Mooney said.
The train was taking the lawmakers to a Republican retreat at The Greenbrier, a resort in West Virginia on the border with Virginia.
"I looked out the side of the window and then I could see a truck, just in pieces out the side of the window", Comer said.
"Rep. Lewis is grateful for the care of the clinical staff at the UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville", spokesman Stephen Bradford said Wednesday afternoon. "Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck".
Some lawmakers said they had to convince security officials to let them off the train so they could help the victims here at the crash scene.
The NTSB briefed media Wednesday evening at the ACPD and said that they will be on scene for several days going over the crash site, which will be followed by an investigation lasting several months at its headquarters.
"I'm fine compared to, tragically, the truck drivers, and thankful for the prompt action of our doctors and first responders", Lewis said in a statement.
The truck was on the tracks at a crossing when the crash occurred, Amtrak said.
Westerman and Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., who was also on the train, said the impact severed the truck in half and sent the front of the train off the tracks. Benny Layne, on whose property the truck landed, said the crossing arms had been known to malfunction, sometimes coming down even though no train was approaching.
"I immediately started worrying the train was going to derail and tip over", he said.
Dozens of Republican members of the House of Representatives and the Senate left Washington earlier yesterday, the morning after Trump delivered his maiden State of the Union speech before Congress. The ACPD Crash Reconstruction Team is investigating the crash and working with the National Transportation Safety Board in their investigation. They will take charter buses the rest of the way to the retreat, and Vice President Mike Pence was expected to speak Wednesday night.
It was the second tragedy to hit congressional Republicans in the past year.
Last June, a gunman opened fire at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., where Republican lawmakers were practicing for an annual charity game pitting Republicans against Democrats. Representative Steve Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican, was severely wounded, but has returned to work. "My thoughts and prayers are with the ones who are on the truck and our families", he said.
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